China's booming economy attracts Indian talent
CEIBS MBA students!
Just one year in the world’s fastest growing economy has convinced an Indian MBA student to settle in Shanghai when he graduates from CEIBS next year.
Chennai-born Muthuraman Kathiresan says he favors China's “mature economy”, the third largest in the world, over his homeland, and has been learning Mandarin Chinese to prepare for a career in the country's financial capital: “The business model is more mature in China [than in India], if you want to establish a good business,” he says.
“In India, you can only do low value-added products, whereas here opportunities for selling high value-added products and services are much more,” he adds.
The former computer engineer is interested in new markets for e-commerce and telecommunications in China, and finds the leading firms in these industries “inspiring”. Kathiresan’s favorites include Taobao.com, the Chinese version of EBay; and Tencent, which has become a near-monopoly in instant messaging with its popular online chat tool “QQ”.
Kathiresan, 26, graduated from India's Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani, with an engineering degree and worked as an electrical engineer for Infosys, a telecommunication company in Ottawa, Canada, before attending CEIBS.
He chose the Chinese MBA program over other top business programs believing he would benefit from the experience: “With China being the largest global economy driver, [studying at] CEIBS would be my best option.”
He’s not alone. More than 6,000 Indian students are studying in Chinese higher education institutions, taking advantage of transparent admission procedures, affordable fees and high-quality facilities, according to IndiaEduNews.net.
Kathiresan recently completed an internship in Shanghai for French bank BNP Paribas, helping the business strategy team with market positioning, pricing and marketing to strengthen a cash management product.
It was his first proper opportunity to “get the ground info about Chinese business” and he offers his take on how the country has avoided much fall-out from the global financial crisis: the speed at which people adapt, from policymakers to street traders. “Chinese business people are very adaptable to changes. For instance, when Michael Jackson passed away, his posters were on sale all over Shanghai the next day. They really reacted quickly!” he says.
China’s eight per cent GDP growth rate this year is “really, really amazing”. Unlike India’s leaders, Chinese decision-makers have a two or three-year plans for keeping the economy up, he adds.
But China needs to train more managers to compete globally. When Chinese companies want to go abroad they often lack “real” management know-how, observes Kathiresan. “Indian IT companies, for example, are doing so much better.”
His Chinese classmates could be more expressive: “In business you need to come forward sometimes.”
But Devon Nixon, a US-born CEIBS student, offered a different view recently, arguing that Chinese youth are “trained to compete, all the time and on every level.”
“When you’re trained to… either stand out… or end up lost in the masses, a very aggressive mindset prevails,” he wrote in The Financial Times.
In the meantime, mastering the language is Kathiresan’s biggest challenge. He takes regular lessons from his 60-odd Chinese classmates: “I go to pubs with them a lot... In fact, I went to a pub this morning with my Chinese friends,” he says in near-fluent Mandarin.
“They come from every function and every industry you can think of, so the network can help me to establish connections.
“And,” he continues, “I am in a really good mood when I speak Chinese.”
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